Tigo partners IFC, MasterCard Foundation to expand mobile financial services
Tigo Ghana, one of Ghana’s largest cellular operators, has entered into a $2 million advisory service agreement with the IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and The MasterCard Foundation to develop and expand mobile financial services in support of wider financial inclusion in Ghana.
The project is part of the Partnership for Financial Inclusion, a joint $37.4 million initiative of IFC and The MasterCard Foundation to expand microfinance and advance mobile financial services in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Roshi Motman, CEO of Tigo Ghana, who launched its mobile money operation Tigo Cash in 2011, said, “Together with IFC and The MasterCard Foundation, Tigo Ghana is committed to extending financial inclusion. Following the five awards Tigo Cash received in 2013, this is further recognition of our innovative approach to the deployment of mobile financial services and our commitment to continually develop them.”
While mobile phone usage is high in Ghana, access to formal financial services remains low. Only 29 percent of adults in Ghana have an account at a formal financial institution. Among people with low income that number is only about 15 percent. Most poor people are left with no choice but to resort to informal, unregulated and often unreliable means of savings, and insurance.
Selorm Adadevoh, Head of Mobile Financial Services at Tigo Ghana at an event in Johannesburg, said, “We are excited about this partnership, especially because the IFC and The MasterCard Foundation teams are bringing immense industry experience to support and help accelerate the growth of Tigo Cash and mobile financial services overall in Ghana”.
The project will run for three years and focus on customer education and acquisition, with IFC providing advisory services on business development, customer profiling and agent network management.
David Crush, Manager, IFC Access to Finance Sub-Saharan Africa, said, “The use of mobile phones and alternative distribution infrastructure represents a huge opportunity to fill the gap in the provision of financial services in Ghana, with significant commercial potential for operators able to build a business model that serves the base of the pyramid efficiently.”